Committee to survey Tata Motors project site

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{image-Tata Motors project site_09092008.jpg}Singur, Sep 9: The four-member committee, headed by local Trinamool Congress MLA Rabindranath Bhattacharya, to ascertain how much land acquired for the Tata Motors project could be returned to the 'unwilling farmers,' on Tuesday, Sep 9 headed to Kolkata for a meeting.

Addressing mediapersons here before leaving for the state capital, Mr Bhattacharya said, ''We will hold a meeting at Kolkata from 12 noon on the issue of returning the land to the unwilling farmers. After the meeting, the committee will undertake a thorough survey of the area in and around the small car project site and we will try our best to return the maximum amount of land from within the project site to the unwilling farmers.'

The committee comprises Hooghly District Magistrate Neelam Meena and West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) Managing Director Subrata Gupta from the state government's side and Singur Krishi Jami Raksha Committee convenor Becharam Manna, besides the Trinamool MLA from the Opposition side.

A statement of Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who mediated between the government and the Trinamool Congress-led Opposition, had said about an agreement on providing land 'to the maximum within the project area and the rest in adjacent areas' to the 'unwilling' farmers, who did not receive compensation. A committee was formed to ascertain the possibility of such an exercise and finalising the modalities.

In a joint press conference with Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at Kolkata yesterday, Industry Minister Nirupam Sen, however, emphasised that the state government was holding to its earlier stand that the vendor park for ancillary units was an integral part of the project and nothing would be done to affect it.

Mr Sen said the committee was appointed to ascertain how much land could be taken away from within the project area keeping intact the mother plant and vendor park without affecting their integral nature. He also said the compensation and rehabilitation scheme, which was discussed, was for all land losers, as the government could not afford to make any discrimination between those who had willingly given away land for the project and who parted with unwillingly.

In accordance with the Tata Motors statement on Monday, Sep 9 announcing suspension of commissioning and construction work, the small car project site, meanwhile, continued to remain deserted.

The company stated that it would restart work at Singur only if it was satisfied that the project's viability was not impinged, the integral nature of the mother plant and ancillary units were being maintained and a long term congenial environment was maintained.

The local farmers were, however, baffled, as the work at the project site did not restart despite the lifting of the 'dharna' by Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee.

'It has been announced that only construction at the vendors' park cannot be restarted and consequently the Tatas should resume work at the small car palnt,' the farmers demanded.

The CPI(M) is, meanwhile, scheduled to organise a rally here this evening in support of rapid industrialisation of the area.


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